Home Security – it is something that we all think about. If you don't, you should. There are many, many different ways to protect your home. Many homeowners have alarm systems that can alert them to a break-in, fire, or even carbon monoxide poisoning.
But what about actually being able to SEE what is going on at home? This is a major plus. Quite a few years ago, I tried to use some X10 products to accomplish this. They just were not up to par at the time. I had a lot of problems with setup. And, the software that had to run was constantly crashing. Not to mention there were adapters, and cords, and drivers.. oh my!
Fast forward to now… technology has changed a lot; for the better. I had been waiting for something better to catch my eye, so that I could give the video surveillance a go again. So, when I was offered the chance to review the Dropcam, I was happy to oblige.
The Dropcam comes in 2 flavors: The Dropcam and the Dropcam Echo. The Dropcam Echo adds sound to the stream. Setting it up the Dropcam is pretty straightforward. You first plug the Dropcam directly into your router or available Ethernet port with network connectivity. You then visit the website at http://dropcam.com. The camera is easy to configure by setting up your online account. If you have a wireless network, once your camera is configured to access your access point, you can position it anywhere in your home. I set my Dropcam up to point out my front door at the porch. Exciting? No. But it might catch some activity. 🙂 The Dropcam offers some great features including:
Live Web Viewing: Watch your Dropcam on your computer at Dropcam.com. This includes sound if you have a Dropcam Echo. I tested this a few times while I was at work, and it is a crystal clear picture and sound. I could hear things going on all over my house.
Live Mobile Viewing: You can also (and this is the coolest thing to me), download and install the Dropcam App for iPhone or Android and watch your live camera feed while on the go. The app is free to all Dropcam users with an account. There is no extra fee for using the service. And sounds works too! You can also use the app to browse other public Dropcam's around the world.
Automatic Alerts: Your Dropcam can use the built-in motion detector to alert you via email or a push notification when it detects movement or sound in the area of the camera. This is useful if you are trying to catch a thief!
Sharing: Want to share your video with friends? You can easily do so by simply inviting them. You also have the option of locking down your videos so they are private only to you.
Multiple Camera Support: Want to monitor more than one area? You can add multiple cameras to your account and view them all.
Video Downloads: This is another really cool feature. If you want to grab a clip of activity, you can easily do so by clicking the Download button in your account. You then receive an email with a link to the mp4 file. As stated above, I pointed my Dropcam at my porch. Not much excitement goes on there. But I remembered that I got a UPS package a few days ago. I was able to use the Go To function in my Dropcam account to pinpoint exactly when UPS.com says my package was delivered and download the clip of the deed! You can see the quality here. Yes it is exciting stuff! 🙂
Overall, I really enjoy the Dropcam. I love that you can set it and forget it. If you are worried about security, want to know exactly when the kids get home, when the UPS man has stopped by, or if the neighbors dog is doing his business on your lawn again, your Dropcam can catch it all.
The Dropcam is available for $199. The Dropcam Echo for $279. And with the reasonable plans, it is not a bad price for security. And now through the end of May, you can get 10% off the Dropcam using code LITTLETECHGIRL when you checkout.